BHC Consultants presented conceptual ideas of a downtown plaza to the Enumclaw City Council on Nov. 27, which includes a splash park, a playground, a covered stage and a picnic lawn. Image courtesy of BHC Consultants

BHC Consultants presented conceptual ideas of a downtown plaza to the Enumclaw City Council on Nov. 27, which includes a splash park, a playground, a covered stage and a picnic lawn. Image courtesy of BHC Consultants

Enumclaw moves forward with downtown plaza proposal

Convinced that downtown Enumclaw has unrealized potential, the city will soon be looking for developers interested in turning dreams to reality.

Convinced that downtown Enumclaw has unrealized potential, the city will soon be looking for developers interested in turning dreams to reality.

The notion of using public land to create a destination for locals and visitors is nothing new. A plan was developed, gathered cobwebs for a time and was eventually dusted off with a renewed sense of interest. On Dec. 11, members of the Enumclaw City Council gave their blessing for administration to seek proposals for development at the intersection of Stevenson Avenue and Cole Street, presently a parking lot.

The action taken during the council’s final meeting of 2017 is the latest installment in a tale that stretches back to at least 2006. That’s when the city amended its municipal code to allow for multi-story, mixed-use development in downtown zones. At that time, the city had heard from two private developers who kicked around the notion of developing the land; those plans were scrapped, however, with the onset of the most-recent recession.

Former Mayor Liz Reynolds has been an outspoken booster of downtown development and pushed for money to be included in the city budget that paid for professional help in kick-starting the project.

Three options were drawn up and presented during a June 2015 workshop. A month ago, BHC Consultants presented a conceptualized plan for a public plaza and pavilion between Cole and Railroad Streets.

That led to the council’s Nov. 11 vote, which allows administration to seek parties interested in mixed-use development. The action does not commit the city to a specific design or financial arrangement; city options include selling the land or securing a long-term lease.

Enumclaw Town Plaza presentation by Ray Still on Scribd

THE BIGGER PICTURE

The city has long looked at all its downtown holdings and considered what could best serve the community. The land in question covers just over 10 acres, includes parcels on both sides of Railroad Avenue and stretches from Stevenson Avenue on the south to Washington Avenue on the north.

Included on the city-owned land are parking spaces for 400 vehicles, the building housing the Chamber of Commerce and Arts Alive!, Rotary Centennial Park, the Loggers Legacy Memorial, the public library and all the vacant land sitting directly north of the library, including the community garden.

The goals for the entire area, according to plans shared during the 2015 workshop, include a handful of key elements.

• to create a downtown “gathering space” with amenities attractive to both residents and tourists;

• to include a space for events ranging from a farmers market to street fairs, outdoor movies and concerts.

• to develop Railroad Street and Initial Avenue as a promenade with wide sidewalks and unique paving;

• to “fill the block” on Cole Street. It was noted the current situation, with a parking lot fronting Cole, creates a visual barrier, effectively putting an end to the shopping district.

Also mentioned is the importance of creating downtown housing as part of the mixed-use nature of the proposed development. People who live downtown support shops and restaurants.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
National Safe Boating Week is May 22 – 28

Be prepared before you hit the water.

Penny Wood holds a copy of her book "She Married The Green River Serial Killer" on a trail near her Ravensdale home April 28. Photo by Alex Bruell
Ravensdale author pens update on Judith Mawson, ex-wife of the Green River Killer

Newly-updated book chronicles a triumph over the painful memories of Gary Ridgway

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
Inslee sets June 30 target for Washington to fully reopen

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places, the federal CDC said.

Elections ahead
Candidate filing week approaches – May 17-21

Your opportunity to file for a local government position is next week.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17, 2020, at the state Capitol in Olympia. File photo
Open-carry of weapons now illegal at state Capitol, rallies

A new law bars people from carrying guns within 250 feet of a permitted demonstration.

Image courtesy Public Health Insider
Everyone 12 and older now eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus, get sick, and spread the virus to others.

The EHS class of 2020 celebrated their final year of high school at the Enumclaw Expo Center last year in order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. Photo by Kevin Hanson
It will be different, but graduation ceremonies will take place

White River is planning to host its ceremony June 12 at the Arrow Lumber Stadium, while Enumclaw High is hosting theirs June 14 at the Expo Center.

(Pixabay.com)
As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

WSP trooper said a THC breathalyzer would be a “game changer” for law enforcement and courts.

E. coli. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
Seven King County children sickened with E. coli

Seven children in King County have been infected with E. coli, a… Continue reading

Most Read